Proposal to extend Botany Cemetery into Bicentennial Park
Council initially received an application in December 2017 to amend the Randwick LEP to include 'cemetery' as an additional permitted use. On 17 June 2019 Council received an amended planning proposal which was reported to the Randwick Local Planning Panel on 12 September 2019.
Opinion piece by local resident Charles Abela
On 22 October 2019 Council resolved to support a draft proposal to allow the cemetery to expand into Bicentennial Park taking up about 30 per cent of the park’s area. The proposal encompasses significant portions of the Yarra Bay beach and rock platform shoreline and would also encompass Bumborah Point. Bumborah Point is the best part of Bicentennial Park because it is elevated and because of the widespan splendid views to be had from there which include the landing sites of Captain Cook, Laperouse, and Arthur Phillip and most of the Botany Bay shoreline.
The only Councillors voting against the motion were the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The accepted Council resolution is copied below:
MINUTES OF ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL HELD ON TUESDAY, 22 OCTOBER 2019 AT 6:05PM
CP36/19 Director City Planning Report — Planning Proposal for Proposed Cemetery Expansion at Bumborah Point (RZ/3/2017)
282/19 RESOLUTION: (Andrews/Stavrinos) that Council:
Support the draft Planning Proposal for the Bumborah Point cemetery expansion;
Forward the draft Planning Proposal and supporting material to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment as delegate of the Minister for Planning requesting ‘Gateway Determination’ under Section 3.34 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to enable a public consultation process; and,
Following ‘Gateway Determination’ exhibit the Planning Proposal in accordance with the conditions of the Gateway Determination and bring back a report to Council detailing the results of the community consultation for final consideration by Council.
MOTION: (Andrews/Stavrinos) CARRIED — SEE RESOLUTION
By trashing the historical and heritage on-shore values of the site, I believe that the cemetery expansion proposal paves the way for the proposed expansion of the Port Botany berthing facilities to our side of the main breakwater. There was an historic attempt to build general commercial wharfage in Frenchmans Bay to cater for the tugboats and other utility vessels. That was thwarted by the community at the time the Port was being built forcing the then Port Botany Authority to give up a large berth in the Port capable of accommodating a large container ship.
I believe that the proposed cruise ship terminal is a revised rehash of that historic attempt to establish general utility wharfage. It is hard to believe that new wharfage such as that proposed for Yarra Bay would only be used for 30 or so one-day cruise ship stays and left idle for the other 330 days of the year. No business case could ever justify the stated limited cruise ship usage.
On an even less savoury aspect Bumborah Point is an elevated rocky outcrop overlain by a few metres in depth of sand dune. When there is significant rain, seepage is seen coming down the sides of the cliff face and running over the rock platforms and beach. The seepage at times persists for several weeks. It would be disgusting to think that the leachate seepage has percolated through several thousand full body burial graves before reaching the beach.